Okay . . . so today I set out to smoke four (4) pounds of salmon for a friend. She is having her annual Christmas party next week and asked that I smoke some salmon for her.
My wife took care of all the hard stuff. She picked out the salmon, brined it and got it all ready to go in the smoker so all that was left for me to do was stick it in the smoker and wait for it to cook.
I got to tell you that this friend has been a fan of my smoked salmon since she first tried it last year. I don’t know why she likes it so much. My first attempt left the salmon, in my opinion, dry and overcooked. But for whatever reason, she ate it and raved about it.
The second attempt was for my grandson’s first birthday party.
Again, I was not the least bit impressed with the results, but then again, I am not a big fish eater and the only salmon I had ever really eaten came out of a can. So you can take my opinion for what it’s worth.
Anyway, this same lady friend was at the birthday party along with one of her kids, his wife and their two kids.
I had smoked a couple of pounds of salmon along with ribs and a port tenderloin. When the party was over, there was no salmon to be seen. Seems that this lady friend, her son and his wife along with my grand daughter made sure that all the salmon was gone.
Continue reading “Smoked Salmon For Christmas”
This is part two of my review of the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker and I left off with the unit not producing much, if any, smoke.
So after replacing the wood chips with bone dry wood, I thought I should start start having smoke roll out of this thing like it was on fire.
It didn’t happen.
No matter what I did I just could not get the volume of smoke that I thought I would get out of this unit. Over the season I tried using the supplied wood chip box. I tried ordering wood pellets that even came with its own special burn box. That didn’t do it. I tried making a packet out of aluminum foil and putting it – filled with wood chips – directly on the heating element. That didn’t work either. I even tried lighting 3 or 5 pieces of charcoal (no simple feat) and putting the hot briquettes in a small metal pan with a wood chip foil packet on top. That process seemed to work the best, but the chips and the briquettes burned out pretty quickly so I was left to putting in more charcoal and wood chips about every half an hour.
For whatever reason, it seems to me that the heating element in this unit just does not get hot enough to cause wood chips – wet or dry – to smolder and produce a decent amount of smoke. While the unit did pretty much maintain a fairly consistent heat level and it did cook the ribs and chicken just as it should, the finished product lacked the smoke flavor I am always looking for.
Continue reading “Review-Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Pt II”
In my opinion, true barbecue is when you have a tough, cheap piece of meat and you transform it into a mouth-watering meal that is full of flavor and so tender that you can cut it with a spoon. That’s what true barbecue is all about.
And there is an art, as well as a science, to real barbecue. real barbecue is cooking over low heat for an extended period of time. You want to let your meat have all the time it needs to stay juicy and soak up all the flavor of the smoke. The reason for the low heat is to allow plenty of time for all the muscles and connective tissues that make up your favorite cut of meat to deconstruct a bit. That is what turns your nasty cut of meat into something that you can cut with a spoon.
The first thing that I tackle when its smoking time is the fire or heat source. Since I do not cook with fire or direct heat, I utilize about 3/4 of a chimney full of charcoal briquettes. I get them lit and let the bottom briquettes get good and hot while the top ones are just getting started. Once the briquettes are ready, I move them over to the grill – and I do use a bbq grill to smoke on for now. I pile the briquettes at one end of the grill and toss on a few chunks of Western brand hickory or mesquite wood chunks and wait for the grill to come up to temp and for the smoke to get started.
Continue reading “The Art Of True Barbeque”
One of the most asked questions about smoking in order to get amazing backyard barbeque is, “What is the best wood for smoking meat?” The answer answer is that it depends on what you prefer. Because different woods impart different flavors, there are no hard and fast rules.
Since there are no concrete answers to the question of which wood is best, here is a guide to explain some of the woods most commonly used for smoking meat. If you’re starting from scratch or are wondering about new ways to expand your meat smoking repertoire, I hope you will find this to be a handy reference. Of course, uniqueness and perfection can only be found through experimentation.
You might even want to consider keeping a written record of your experimenting and results for future reference.
The basic rule of thumb is to use the heavier hardwoods like oak, hickory or mesquite for smoking heavier meats such as beef and pork. Use the lighterhardwoods like that from fruit trees, maple and nut-bearing woods for smoking lighter meats like fish and poultry. Some of the fun in doing your own backyard barbeque is when you start experimenting with mixing small amounts of the lighter woods to accent the flavors of your heavier meats and vice-versa.
Continue reading “More About The Best Smoking Woods”